By Emily Heintz, Founder and Managing Director of EntryPoint
EntryPoint is proud to partner with Invest Detroit to host the 2019 Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition (AMIC), an event that supports Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase their companies to investors while building connections with entrepreneurs, business acceleration resources, and experts in their sector during carefully curated individual meetings. This year we are also partnering with another EntryPoint favorite, the Michigan Venture Capital Association, to provide the 24 semi-finalists with a private investor networking reception on the evening of November 12 to kick off the 2019 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner.
Last year, we placed an increased emphasis on building one-on-one connections between investors and entrepreneurs and are thrilled to have it return this year as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the competition. We believe that building a strong network of investors, talent and mentors is critical to the success of startup growth and see these individual meetings as an integral component of the competition in addition to the funding opportunities it offers.
With the application deadline for this year’s competition fast approaching on Saturday, August 31, we wanted to share a recent startup success story that resulted from the relationships formed at AMIC. If you needed another reason to apply to this year’s competition, this is it!
Building Connections at AMIC Leads to Investment and International Recognition
Founded in 2015, SpellBound is an Ann Arbor-based information technology startup that provides the first augmented reality platform engineered for healthcare. The company began as a low-cost, scalable way to add imaginative play and wonder into the hospital environment. After encountering unnecessary sedation with her own children during medical procedures, CEO Christina York expanded SpellBound’s mission to use immersive 3D technology to increase patient cooperation with treatment, including patient education and procedure simulation.
York attended and participated in the 2018 AMIC pitch event as a semi-finalist of the competition (and walked away with the Woman-Led Prize of $150,000!). She shared with us the following story about her experience at AMIC:
“At last year’s AMIC dinner, I sat next to Taryn Smith of Henry Ford Innovations. We never met before, and while enjoying the dinner and watching the remaining companies present their pitches, I had the opportunity to share more about SpellBound. Four months later, I received a call from the Secretary of State to participate in a lead-up event to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES). Taryn was part of the event and recommended our company. We were selected as a finalist and came away with an all-expenses trip to the Netherlands for the GES conference in June. It gets better – I go to the Netherlands, pitch, and from the 4,000 companies from around the world, Spellbound was named the Catalyst Grand Champion!
All of this happened because of the connections from AMIC last year and now we are in talks for a future partnership with a major international company. AMIC makes connections that matter!”
Whether you walk away with the grand prize or attend to meet fellow entrepreneurs, AMIC brings tangible results that can fuel the growth of your startup. You never know how a connection at an event can come full circle and lead to incredible new opportunities. Don’t miss the chance to make your own connections and fund for your startup. Apply for AMIC by Saturday, August 31.
Didn’t register but still want to see what AMIC is all about? Tickets are on sale now to attend on November 13 at the newly renovated State Savings Bank in Detroit. To learn more about AMIC, visit http://investdetroit.com/accelerate-michigan/ and follow updates about the competition on Twitter and Facebook (@AccelerateMICH).